Sugar production by Anglo-American owned Hippo Valley Estates which had been projected at 300 000 tonnes for the year ending March next year will be some 20 000 short because of lower deliveries than forecast from independent growers contracted by the company.
The company says although there are fears of the El Nino phenomenon there is sufficient stored water to secure a reasonable harvest for the 1998/99 financial year.
To secure a normal harvest, the company would require additional water equivalent to 30 percent of the 1998/99 allocation.
The company says, however, there will be sufficient sugar for local consumption. Its only concern is that virtually the whole of Mkwasine Estate, which is jointly owned in partnership with another sugar producer, Triangle, has been listed as one of the properties to be acquired by the government.
“This estate forms an integral part of the company’s, and indeed, the industry’s, operations. Consequently it is the intention to lodge an appeal against the proposed acquisition,” the company says.